Four years ago, some anonymous people posted a couple of mean Google reviews about this cheap and cheerful Queenstown lunch joint.
They rated it ‘‘no star’’, and I won’t bother going into their issues because, really, what did they expect from a glaringly obvious, formatted lunch menu at an outfit serving tables on an unattractive, congested foot path?
The problem with the internoodle is things stick, even if the owners have made changes — and to be honest, I have no idea about that. I thought my $12 curry lunch was acceptable. Not great, but I wasn’t expecting exquisite cuisine. Here’s what else I found.
The biggest mistake the waitress made was bringing out one menu for three people. She was attentive and came back several times because one of my companions could not make up her mind. She did bring more menus. We also got everything else we asked for — chopsticks, extra plates for the entrees, more water.
I had a $12 green chicken curry from the lunch special menu. It was a bit light on vegetables and could have been spicier, but then, I was asked and I didn’t commit. The portion size was adequate and it tasted all right. One of my companions ordered a $23.50 Massaman prawn curry from the main menu and described it as ‘‘excellent’’ and ‘‘a particularly good one’’. The other dithered for a while before choosing a $12 crumbed Thai-style chicken lunch, which she regretted because it was ‘‘a bit bland’’. However, her meal was not dry and the food was cooked properly. We ranked our dollops of unexciting coleslaw about 5/10.
We also ordered three entrees to share. I thought the wontons and the prawn sticks were better than the fresh spring rolls. Street side diners sit at bulky plastic white tables, the type you get at hardware stores. They are a bit ugly, but they are practical and don’t encourage people to linger. Sure, some might think it nice to dine off furniture made from imported timbers milled from exotic forests but in the circumstances, plastic really is OK.
The table performed its function. If you want a calm ambience away from shoppers, go inside where some attention has been given to the decor. From the door, everything appeared pleasing, tidy and clean. I didn’t go in.
Queenstown’s Beach St is a bit of a congested drain pipe really, though the perspective improves on a sunny day. And it does have some cheap and cheerful food joints.
We had mixed results at Thai Siam. You can have the blander side of cheerful off the lunch menu, or the higher side of cheap if you order a tasty curry from the main menu. We agreed it was acceptable. We did not go hungry.
There were options. And sitting in might be nicer than out. Either way, it’s worth another go.